I am still feeling an abundance of gratefulness as we swing into the last month of the year. Also, I’m am in a reflective mood as we head towards the New Year. Things are certainly slowing down produce harvesting wise and the fava beans are coming up announcing the coming of winter. We had sunny 70° weather at the stand yesterday which seemed confusing to say the least. Despite the glorious weather it seemed we had less people than usual (though there was still a line down the sidewalk for the first hour). We certainly had less produce and because we are a seasonal program we will be having less food for the next few months at least.
To boast the produce on the table, I have started growing sprouts and sunflower greens again and I am excited that I grew five pounds of red clover sprouts. This is with only two cups of seed approximately. I grow the sprouts in five gallon buckets, though they can be grown by anyone at home with a jar and some cheesecloth or plastic screen.
We also had five pounds of greens that we grew at 18th and Rhode Island, the main garden providing food for the stand at the moment. I did harvest about a dozen Rocoto hot peppers from Treat Commons, and both those sunny gardens are producing lots of the perennial African Blue Basil. We ran out of food early, though at some point towards the end, a woman showed up with a bag of Hachiya persimmons from her tree. I love Hachiya persimmons and I hope that everyone knows that they need to let the fruit ripen before you bite into them, unlike the Fuyu persimmons that you eat when they are firm. When we have free bread it is fun to see what shows up on the table. Autumn came by again with leftover olive samples from the farmer’s market and there was a jar of plum jam left over from summer. I will be bringing more summer jam to share in the last week we are open before all the big holidays. Cristina shared some kale”chips” that she made Also, Sara showed up with a bag of figs from her tree that also needed some ripening. Since we were finished early and she came a little late, I wound up with the figs, some of which I gave away.
We need a campaign to plant more fruit trees everywhere in the city…really our parks and vacant spaces should be planted with fruit that ripen at different times and nut trees on the sidewalks. Can you imagine a time when you live in the city and people recognize the time of year when different fruit comes into ripening? We are now into persimmon season moving into citrus time.
I am still on my mission of trying to manifest two projects that will help promote local food growing in the city. One is getting the orchard/garden extended in Parque Niños Unidos and the other is trying to find sunny land to start a free neighborhood garden center. I remember years ago I had friends who would keep on their refrigerator a list of things they were trying to manifest. They believed that by just keeping things in mind and putting the thought out there that things would manifest themselves given time in their lives. I believe in that myself as hippy dippy as it sounds.
Please take note: From December 19th to January 4th I will be going out of town to visit the Midwest and the Free Farm Stand will be closed during those two weeks.